Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club

The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club
Written by: Laurie Notaro
Paperback: 225 pages
Publisher: Villard
Language: English
July 2002, $14.00
Genre: Anthology/Humor

“Ive changed a bit since high school. Back then I said no to using and selling drugs. I washed on a normal basis and still had good credit.”

Introducing Laurie Notaro, the leader of the Idiot Girls Action-Adventure Club. Every day she fearlessly rises from bed to defeat the evil machinations of dolts, dimwits, and creepy boyfriendsand thats before she even puts on a bra.

For the past ten years, Notaro has been entertaining Phoenix newspaper readers with her wildly amusing autobiographical exploits and unique life experiences. She writes about a world of hourly-wage jobs that require absolutely no skills, a mother who hands down judgments more forcefully than anyone seated on the Supreme Court, horrific high school reunions, and hangovers that leave her surprised that she woke up in the first place.

The misadventures of Laurie and her fellow Idiot Girls (“too cool to be in the Smart Group”) unfold in a world that everyone will recognize but no one has ever described so hilariously. She delivers the goods: life as we all know it.


I first fell in love with Laurie Notaro a couple of years ago after reading We Thought You’d Be Prettier. She was someone I immediately related to through her stories about her life and the absurdity of it all sometimes. I laughed. I nodded my head. I tried to find some fantastical way in which I could become Laurie’s friend just because her mind seems to work the way that mine does, except I don’t have the gift for writing. I have the gift of reading…oh yes I do, but writing is not exactly my strong suit. I also admire putting it all out there. Being self deprecating. Using snark. All of these I find to be awesome traits.

So why did it take so long for me to read this first one? Well apparently my local bookstores are not as enamored with funny women as I am and rarely got her books in. And plus she was just a little far down in my to be read pile. But she was there. I was in the mood for a pick me up and this book was the first one I went to.

And it is hilarious. From jobs that are full of the suckiness, waking up neighbors, being mistaken for a homeless person, her mother’s idea of whom her future husband should be and being the ugly friend, these stories are great. While I was never the heavy drinking, chain smoking gal that Laurie was in her youth I can relate. Maybe because I am part of the Idiot Girls’ Adventure Club without really trying. I laugh out loud when I read her which is saying a lot.

Things I loved: I really enjoy vignette tales because I can pick up the book before bedtime or while waiting in line and finish one of the stories and not feel totally guilty about not continuing because I will miss something because each story is self contained. These were originally in her newspaper column (I live in a city so small that no one does a fun column like this, which is sad because lets face it I would read the newspaper more if there were columns like this. Even Sioux Falls used to have my friend Rob’s column which consisted of all this pop cultury and geeky).

Laurie Notaro is the kind of woman I want to go hang out with. Even when faced with some unlucky situations, she emerges with laughter and how is that not just wickedly cool. I need that in my life sometimes. I think what I really like is that these situations are normal, ordinary…yeah probably happened at least once in my life, but somehow she makes them so much more entertaining and exciting then when it happened to me. That’s why she is fantastic. She can write the wit, the snark and the entertainment. Somehow my ability to do that only exists in my head and then I censor myself, maybe because I was that goody two shoes when I was younger, but then somehow decided I didnt give as much of a frak anymore.

I also think I like her because while I wasn’t the total slacker, there is this idea that after your 20’s you’re supposed to be doing something with your life. Well she did more than my retail slumming managerial job which was my 20s. She actually wrote a column for an Arizona paper. I also think its funny because a lot of the time she reflects on her youth and wonders, how did I get here? I somehow still ask myself the same thing.

Things I didn't love so much: I didn’t always get some of the humor but that may be due to Laurie being slightly older than I am. I was still just a kid when the 80’s were around being born in 1978. Occasionally the humor is a bit lowbrow, but even I like that kind of stuff now and again. Prissy is not me after all.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. At least grab it from the library. I cant imagine that you would not nod your head or laugh at least once.

Part of: Stand Alone. Though she has other books that are collections of her columns and essays as well.

Also Recommended: We Thought Youd be Prettier also by Notaro, I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley and anything by Chelsea Handler

4 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks


redhead said...

i need some lowbrow funny women in my life. i am so gonna look for this one!!

WonderinAlways said...

What is the Setting of this novel?

Smirking Revenge said...

WonderinAlways... They are vignette tales, mostly from her past about her life and all the absurd funny things that happen in it. She was born in Brooklyn and while some things happen in the tri-state area, others take place elsewhere in the US. Its modern and highly relatable. Worth the read.